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Conservative federal judge won’t hire Yale Law School clerks

‘Starting today, I will no longer hire law clerks from Yale Law School. And I hope that other judges will join me as well,’ Judge James Ho announced

A federal judge announced that he will no longer hire Yale Law School clerks due to a concern about intolerance on campus.

“Yale not only tolerates the cancellation of views — it actively practices it,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Judge James Ho said on Thursday at a Federalist Society event, according to National Review. Yale law students disrupted a panel on civil liberties in March in order to stop Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner from speaking.

“Starting today, I will no longer hire law clerks from Yale Law School. And I hope that other judges will join me as well,” Ho, an appointee of President Donald Trump, said during his speech.

Ho received support from legal scholar Ilya Shapiro, whom the federal judge had previously defended against criticism. Ho criticized the way Georgetown University treated Shapiro for tweeting criticism of President Joe Biden’s selection of Ketanji Jackson for the Supreme Court.

“Bravo, Jim Ho. Something has to be done to disrupt the toxic atmosphere polluting too many law schools,” Shapiro, now at the Manhattan Institute, tweeted on Thursday. “Spineless administrators need to stop placating and even fomenting the illiberal mobs menacing our institutions of higher education.”

“A federal judge has no better tool for disciplining such cowardly intolerance than the incentive of clerkship hiring,” Shapiro wrote in a follow-up comment. “Let’s see how many of Judge Ho’s colleagues join him in this market correction.”

However, others have raised concerns about the effectiveness of Ho’s strategy.

“The idea is that if talented young prospective law students know they will be blackballed if Yale appears on their résumés, they will not apply to or attend it,” Isaac Schorr wrote in National Review. “But that seems pretty far downstream from the here and now, and that’s only if Judge Ho’s newly recommended practice takes hold throughout the judiciary.”

“The only consequence we know Judge Ho’s declaration will have is that Yale graduates’ applications will be thrown out, and that’s a shame,” Schorr wrote. “Maybe only a few, or just one, or no Yale graduates will suffer as a result. If Ho gets his wish, it’ll be a lot more.”

MORE: ‘Grow up,’ Yale professor tells students protesting conservative attorney


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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.